The Humane Society has released a report on puppy mills and Iowa is tied for fourth worst in the country.
Six Iowa puppy mills were featured in the report – Kute Kozy K In Redding, Faithful Friends Kennel in Bedford, Kelley’s Kennel in Kellerton, Pee Vine Kennels and Platinum Puppies that are both in West Point.
Julie’s Jewells in Jewell was also featured, ranking at the top of the Iowa list.
During a 2010 inspection, the owner reportedly tried to run a USDA inspector off the road.
The owners weren’t happy to see us either.
“Take your cameras, put them in your car. Leave. You got three minutes,” a man who identified himself as the son of the owner warned us.
Once we retreated to public property the man refused to answer our questions.
“We don’t want to deal with any of the PETA people, all that crap. We don’t want any of that publicity. None of that,” the man said as he attempted to block our cameras from filming with his truck and then his hand.
Julie’s Jewells have good reason not to show us the facilities. In 2010, when they still had a USDA license, they received 19 violations ranging from open wounds on dogs to kennels being too small. At the time of that inspection, records show, they had 148-adult dogs and 77-puppies on the property.
State records show they currently have 43-dogs and about 37-puppies. They failed an inspection in October, 2013 due to dirty conditions in the kennel and because a puppy was found with a gash in its paw that went to the bone.
Julie’s Jewels has since passed its most recent inspection.
The Animal Rescue League of Iowa director Tom Colvin says because of places like Julie’s Jewels that Iowa consistently gets a bad rating from animal rights groups. He adds that because of lax enforcement and mild penalties that puppy mills continue to thrive here.
“It’s been a situation that the Animal Rescue League has dealt with for many, many years and doesn’t seem to be going away.”
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship recommends complaining if you visit a breeding facility that doesn’t seem clean or safe for the animals. An inspector will go out and check out the complaint. The inspector may then recommend corrections for the breeder, and give that breeder a certain amount of time to fix the problems.